By Zainab Iqbal
Brooklyn College’s Core Curriculum (CORC) courses have been renamed, according to an email sent out on April 10 by Stuart MacLelland, the acting associate provost for academic programs.
The central office of CUNY—CUNY Central—recently announced that it would no longer accept courses designated as CORC starting Fall of 2017. For students registering for the Fall semester, CORC courses are now housed under their individual departments, rather than “in a general bucket of CORC classes,” said Dr. Yedidyah Langsam, the head of faculty council and the department chairperson for Computer and Information Science.
“CUNYfirst is a way CUNY takes control of colleges,” said Langsam “We had no other choice but to take those courses and put them into departments.”
For example, CORC 3101 (Literature, Ethnicity, and Immigration) is now changed to ENGL 2001. The email states, “these courses will continue to fulfill the same general education requirements.”
The CORC curriculum had been in use at Brooklyn College for the past 10 to 15 years. It was unique to the college as it set its own standards. In fact, the program was created in the first place because, according to Brooklyn College’s website “In a national environment where students are urged, earlier and earlier, to choose an area of specialization, the Core Curriculum ensures that as students are preparing for careers and specialized research, they are also being exposed to areas of lasting interest and to their interrelatedness.”
As a result of the new changes, this curriculum is now outdated, but students who were enrolled in that program from over two years ago are able to finish it. Currently, every student is registered for Pathways. However, if students have already completed their requirements under the old core, they “should not have any additional obligations,” Langsam said. Since CORC is technically no longer in use, its courses are being transferred over to their own departments. In 2013, CUNY introduced Pathways. Pathways is a program created to “maximize transfer credits for students who transfer from one CUNY campus to another CUNY campus,” the website stated.
Unlike the CORC curriculum, every student in all of the CUNY campuses is required to take the Pathways, which consists of the Required Core (four courses), the Flexible Core (six courses) and the College Option (four courses), totaling 42 credits. This new change is a part of the long line of changes that CUNY Central has implemented, even though the faculty doesn’t always agree.
“The faculty believed it wasn’t fair,” Langsam said. “Pathways meant that if a student were taking a course at a community college, and then transferred here, that student won’t have to retake that course at Brooklyn College. Brooklyn College has high standards and so does its courses.”
According to Langsam, the creating of Pathways was not well received by the BC faculty. They had spent three years trying to adjust the CORC curriculum so that the Board of Trustees could adapt it into the framework. But it wasn’t working. “We eventually gave up,” Langsam said. “When CUNY does something, it happens, whether we like it or not.”
Though these changes will not affect students’ degree plans, Langsam believes it will cause confusion.
“We are training advisors to create charts of what was and what is,” Langsam said. “Students should meet with their advisors soon, rather than trying to figure everything out themselves.”